Pittsburgh traveled to Jamestown on Friday night in a must win situation, but the Xpress had other ideas. Southern Tier jumped out to a 1-0 lead before Pittsburgh scored back to back goals to take a 2-1 lead after one period of play. Perry Shiring kicked off the Vengeance scoring on a power play goal from Dom Glavach and Anthony Szurlej, tying the game at one. The Vengeance went ahead 2-1 when Nick Lyon scored from Gavin Cummings and Elijah Williams. The second period was all Xpress as they tallied three straight goals to take a 4-2 lead after two periods of play.
"Bad puck management, undisciplined penalties and not competing hard enough were our downfall," stated Coach Dorsey. The third period was a scoreless frame, and the Xpress defeated the Vengeance 4-2 and put a serious hurt on Pittsburgh’s playoff chances. Daniel Lee started in net for Pittsburgh and gave up 4 goals on 20 shots for the loss. Jacob Stack replaced Lee midway thru the second period and stopped all 15 shots he faced.
Pittsburgh hosted Southern Tier on Saturday night at the Alpha Ice Complex hoping to get back on track. Pittsburgh outshot Southern Tier 14-6 in the first period but trailed 1-0 after one period of play. The Vengeance tied it up at 1-1 on a beautiful individual effort by Vincent Casale. Perry Shiring then put Pittsburgh ahead 2-1, with an assist going to James Stiles. The score remained that way until Southern Tier tallied the equalizer with under three minutes to play in regulation to tie at 2-2. The game went to overtime, where Casale scored his second of the game to win it for Pittsburgh 3-2 with assists Nick Lyon and Stiles. Jacob Stack blocked 19 of 21 in the net for the victory for the Vengeance.
"We competed harder and played a much desperate game tonight," said Coach Dorsey.
Pittsburgh travels to Wooster on Friday night and then hosts them on Saturday in the battle for the 4th spot in the Eastern Conference. The Vengeance currently trail the Oilers by 2 points for the final playoff birth.
”It hasn't been pretty but we've given ourselves a chance and that's all you can ask for this time of year," stated Coach Dorsey.